Mapping flood risk

First published in Letters

Sir – British mapping and Ordnance Survey, in particular, are world leaders in topography and detailed geographical and historic information. A study of Ordnance Survey of this country will show location and different types of churches, all of which are known to have been built in the best position and well above levels prone to flooding. Other developments are usually near by. There will even be references to areas known to be liable to flood. The 1939 Ordnance Survey six-inches-to-one-mile map of Oxford published by The Royal Commission on Historical Monuments England shows the fields both sides of Botley Road as ‘liable to floods’ and Earl Street and Duke Street as the only housing development between Osney and Botley Mill and village. Thomas Sharp’s Oxford Replanned published in 1949 also highlights areas liable to flood.
New building work in the several housing crises after the Second World War was often undertaken in areas where building had previously been avoided for good reasons, including soil condition, removal of woodland to which Dick Wolff refers, (Letters, January 23), traffic problems (that is why new towns in Oxfordshire were avoided in County Structure Plans), undue expansion of existing developments, historic settings and flooding perils.
Brian Hook
Charney Bassett

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